The healthcare industry is currently in need of many nurses to serve in health institutions, especially since there seems to be a shortage of qualified nursing staff. This implies that nursing is still a viable option as a career despite the condition of the economy and of employment. There is a positive outlook in the future for nurses, turning nursing into a stable career for those who have the capacity.
One of the primary and most vital first moves when taking on the career path of nursing is to determine what type of nurse occupation you want. Nurses are actually given several prospects in this regard and can take on what suits them best. The three most common positions in a nursing career path include being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Registered Nurse (RN).
For a quick way to enter the nursing industry, one possible way is by becoming an LPN. This is because an LPN is required only a minimal amount of training and education, which lasts about one to two years. A bachelor's degree is not typically required for LPNs; rather, they are required to finish a program in order to achieve a certificate or diploma. Basic functions like taking vital stats fall under the duties of LPNs and they take guidance from doctors or RNs. The average salary an LPN can expect falls between $33,000 and $45,000 every year.
Another way into the field is becoming a Registered Nurse or RN. RNs are the ones who have completed four-year nursing college programs and this means they are advanced in knowledge and training than LPNs. RNs have, in general, more complex responsibilities as well as higher compensation. They have to complete a painstaking education and then take on heavier responsibilities and work than LPNs.
Those seeking to advance even beyond the level of RN certification in nursing could consider becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP). NPs must generally have a Master's Degree in Nursing. Usually, those interested in becoming a Nurse Practitioner must first complete a four-year undergraduate program through which they become certified as RNs. A NP can become employed by a variety of doctor's offices, particularly those specializing in general practice. Many NPs are also sought to work in hospitals. They can be given great responsibilities and may have the authority to write prescriptions, as well. The average Nurse Practitioner earns more than $83,000 per year.
Overall, there are a plethora of options and career tracks for prospective nurses. It is, then, important for one to consider their goals, interests, and financial objectives before pursuing any of the available types of nursing certifications. Regardless of the path chosen, a career in nursing is a solid and rewarding choice, offering unique opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of others on a daily basis.